New Delhi: Reigning three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will be hit with a five-place grid penalty for Sunday`s Formula One Chinese Grand Prix due to a gearbox change, his Mercedes team confirmed on Thursday.
"This weekend is going to be tough," Hamilton said after sharing a photo on Instagram alongside a picture of fans welcoming him at the Shanghai airport.
He also added that his side feels energised, motivated, and confident to regain lost ground.
"I will start with a five-place grid penalty due to a gearbox change but because of you guys I feel energised, motivated, and confident that we can regain ground lost."
Every year, I arrive into Shanghai with the most incredible welcome. #TeamLHArmy. This weekend is going to be tough. I will start with a 5 place grid penalty due to a gearbox change but because of you guys I feel energised, motivated, and confident that we can regain ground lost. Thank you all for the love and support over the past 10 years, let's get it TeamLH!!! #bestfansintheworld #TeamLHChina #TeamLHarmy #letsgetit #godbless #family #wewinandwelosetogether
The news was later confirmed by Mercedes on Twitter. The champion team had thought Shanghai was the best place to take the penalty after the gear box was damaged in Bahrain and needed to be changed.
A driver must use a single gearbox for six consecutive events and the penalty means the highest Hamilton can start Sunday`s race is from sixth on the grid.
That puts Hamilton on the back foot heading into a race in which he hopes to score his first win of the season and end team-mate Nico Rosberg`s run of five-successive victories.
Hamilton trails Rosberg, winner of the opening two races of the season, by 17 points in the standings.
Hamilton last won at the US Grand Prix in October 2015.
(With Agency inputs)